Thursday, September 4, 2008

On the street interviews...

Brittany designed and constructed a multi poster sized display to help tell the story of KCVC and then interacted with hundreds of visitors who visited our “booth” at the Knox City Watermelon Festival, on the hottest day of the summer. She felt the heat again in August when she visited all of our communities surveying the citizen on the street to find out what they knew about their home county and the Visioning team and its work, and what they thought should be happening! We were prepared for folks to hurry by and not take time to talk to her…boy, were we surprised. Seems almost everybody was just waiting for someone to ask their opinion! People who really couldn’t take time to participate requested surveys to take home, and actually returned them! And, they asked for extra copies to take home to their family or friends to complete. Here’s Brittany’s review of what they said:

Interview Notes
Brittany Coop

  • Biggest difference in answers came from gap between lower and higher income:
    ~low income tended to be more negative when talking about overall satisfaction or opportunities within the county
    ~higher income tended to be more positive when talking about overall satisfaction or opportunities within the county; were only group to mention drug problem
    ~Those of higher income tended to believe we have more jobs that need to be filled, and were willing to pay a little more to keep their business local, while those of lower income tended to believe we didn’t have enough jobs and were looking for the lowest price.
  • Not as much difference between races as anticipated.
  • People under the age of twenty-five were more likely to indicate that they were here because “they had to be.” Also, most likely to put that they were leaving and nothing was going to make them stay. Of those who would like to stay, most put they would leave for a better job, while older people tended to put that nothing could make them leave.
  • The surveys indicated that many residents had been raised here and had lived here all their life.
  • Many people were most concerned with the County not being here in the future, or being a very changed version (some towns drying up, being controlled by people with no ties to County)
  • The things most often cited by residents as needing to be “fixed” included more jobs, more recreational activities (this was listed most by younger people), the lack of a variety of retail stores, and a lack of more places to eat.
  • Many said that for their family to live here for another generation, they would need more opportunities: more jobs and more housing.
  • Most thought we did not have enough quality, available housing; several people indicated that they knew someone who couldn’t live here because they couldn’t find a house.
  • Many people expressed that to get their “dream” job, they would need more education.
  • Jobs most often listed as being available when residents searched in the last three years included: school systems, hospital, and retail.
  • Most people were enthusiastic about job training for themselves or someone in their family.
  • Not many people volunteered to teach a class on their skills (but this most often seemed to be because the interviewee didn’t think they had any skills).
  • Many people said that the greatest challenge for local businesses was the competition from Wichita Falls, Abilene, and Lubbock.
  • Many people were aware of the programs and activities of the Visioning Team, but not the actual group itself. After telling them who has been behind the County’s progress, they were eager to know what was planned for the future.
    ~Of those who were already aware of the KCVT, many learned of it by attending a program, knowing someone on the committee, or through an event like the watermelon festival or parenting fair.
  • Not many people knew about the blog.
  • Most people received at least one of the two local papers, and looked to them for information about community events.

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